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Author Topic: cougar population  (Read 3160 times)

Offline nwwanderer

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cougar population
« on: December 25, 2017, 09:57:04 AM »
I have found no credible, current numbers for Washington.  Oregon is claiming 6000, Vancouver Island claims the highest density on the planet and we seem to be stuck on the 2000- number.  Where are we for the start of 2018?  Thanks

Offline KFhunter

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2017, 10:24:32 AM »
*a lot*

That's all I can tell you, no one knows what the population is with any credibility,  yet we are allowed to hunt "14%" of a population that WDFW has no idea how big really is.

Offline HighlandLofts

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2017, 11:18:34 AM »
With out hound hunting I'm sure the cougar population is to dense for the prey they depend on.
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Offline mfswallace

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2017, 04:46:48 PM »
I have found no credible, current numbers for Washington.  Oregon is claiming 6000, Vancouver Island claims the highest density on the planet and we seem to be stuck on the 2000- number.  Where are we for the start of 2018?  Thanks

U won't ever get any credible numbers from wdfw on predators  :bash:
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Online jasnt

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2017, 03:41:02 AM »
Harvest quotas are closer to 4% guesstimated numbers. Wsu recommended 14% but we never changed our quotas after paying for the study. I don't remember where I found it but they guess the population numbers based of hunter successes though the formula the use is based of states that allow hound hunting. It's pretty messed up
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Online buckcanyonlodge

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2017, 04:49:28 AM »
Don't you know....cougar populations regulate themselves. :bash:
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Offline UBA

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2017, 08:32:49 AM »
Didn't one of their studies say, the more cats u kill it increases the overall population. I think it was a WSU study if im remembering right,

After seeing 6 year to date. The population is way to high.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2017, 09:50:54 AM »
instead of writing it all again I'll quote myself off the wolf section  :chuckle:








YOU CAN THANK WIELGUS FOR OUR RIDICULOUS COUGAR QUOTAS TOO!

What ever do you mean?

This biased farce of a "study" has led to our current cougar plan, and was under the direct supervision of a proven liar who should have been fired.  Anything Weilgus has touched needs to be torched because it does not pass any scientific scrutiny.

https://news.wsu.edu/2012/09/25/wsu-research-results-in-new-management-plan/

Quote
WSU research results in new management plan

PULLMAN, Wash. – Overharvest of cougars can increase negative encounters between the predator and humans, livestock and game, according to a 13-year Washington State University research project. Based on this, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is implementing a new cougar management plan.
 
Starting in January, Washington will employ equilibrium management – hunters will remove no more than the surplus of animals that would be generated through natural reproduction.
 
This means that each of the state’s game management units will have a quota allowing for harvest of no more than 14 percent of that area’s cougars. Once the limit is filled, cougar hunting will be suspended for the year in that unit. Hunters will be allowed to take their tags to other units that haven’t reached the limit.
 
Teens mentally ‘not all there’
 
For years, cougar management operated on the presumption that every cougar shot meant one cougar less to prey on livestock, game and pets. But the 13-year study headed by Rob Wielgus, director of WSU’s Large Carnivore Conservation Lab, has overturned that presumption.
 
After years of data collection, researchers made a surprising observation. Whether hunters killed 10 percent or 35 percent of cougars, the population remained the same. The old paradigm of wildlife management would explain this by saying the remaining population increased reproduction to make up for hunting. But this was not the case.
 
In fact, reproductive success actually decreased. Data showed that adult males, “toms,” are intolerant of adolescent males and will kill them to maintain their territory and breeding rights. Juvenile males can only survive by avoiding adult males. When hunting removes most adult males, the adolescent males survive and cause all sorts of trouble.
 
While adult cougars tend to avoid humans and livestock, juveniles are less cautious: “They’re teenagers,” explained Wielgus. “They’re sexually mature, but mentally they’re not all there.”
 
Migration, reproduction, mortality
 
This is compounded by the fact that adolescent males have larger territories than mature toms, but don’t maintain exclusive territories as do adult males. Livestock and elk herds might have one mature tom in the area, but removing that tom could bring in three or four adolescents, multiplying troubles.
 
Without adult male protection of females and their litters, infanticide becomes a problem, as the young toms kill kits to bring the mother into heat and improve their breeding chances. The females try to protect their litters by moving higher in elevation, away from dangerous adolescent males, but also away from plentiful whitetail deer and into terrain occupied by less abundant prey such as mule deer, bighorn sheep and woodland caribou. Thus marginal game populations suffer.
 
Research methods included capturing cougars with hounds and attaching collars with global positioning system receivers and radio transmitters. The collars reported the cougars’ locations six times a day, allowing researchers to generate valuable data on cougar migration, reproduction, prey and mortality.
 
Wielgus’ graduate students on this multiyear project included: Don Katnik, Ph.D.; Catherine Lambert, M.S.; Hugh Robinson, Ph.D.; Hillary Cooley, Ph.D.; Kevin White, M.S.; Ben Maletzke, Ph.D.; Dana Morrison, M.S.; Jon Keehner, Ph.D.; and Kaylie Peebles, M.S.

The only merit this plan has is in states with hound hunting that target adult males and passes on subadults and females, that decreases the big dominant males that tend to kill sub adults.  That is not the case in Washington, here, we do not kill or specifically target through selective harvest the big dominate males, here -most cats are killed by opportunity, which is mainly sub adults and females with a rare big male here and there.  This whole study is not relevant to WA cougars.

After years of data collection, researchers made a surprising observation. Whether hunters killed 10 percent or 35 percent of cougars, the population remained the same.

Exactly!  This, combined with our very limited hunting methods in WASHINGTON makes these quota's retarded.   :bash:   Hunters in WA kill whatever cat shows itself, we have no means or methods of selective harvest here in this state.  The whole study is a farce.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2017, 09:55:38 AM »
Yep, we're still using data from a disgraced "wildlife biologist/predator expert".
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Offline Limhangerslayer

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2017, 11:31:51 AM »
Better yet, we always meet our quota goals in most of the eastside units.  But now they have it open into April!

Offline Humptulips

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2017, 12:31:28 PM »
Only 40% of CMAs that have quotas ever reach quota. I have proposed and have significant support for additional harvest methods to be allowed.
WDFW has came out against any additional harvest methods.
Are they really supportive of predator harvest? It doesn't seem so.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2017, 01:59:14 PM »
When did WDFW come out against any additional harvest methods?  I think if HSUS and PAWS were supportive we could get some hound pursuit back, the state (WDFW) is not the problem in that regard.

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2017, 02:10:07 PM »
So , if they allow for 14% kill for unit 121 they are saying the unit has approx. 43 cougar.  Unit 121 is approx. 50 miles long and 20 miles wide. That is 1,000 Square Miles...that is one cat for every 23 sq. miles.  Almost ALL of unit 121 is prime cougar habitat.I'm not the best at math so correct my figures if they are wrong! One group of local hunters used to hunt this area with hounds back when you could. In 10 years they took 52 cougar from a 10 sq. mile area. This area is still over loaded with cats.  Neighbor lady had sheep killed every year and finally called WDFW after 15 sheep were killed. WDFW Ok'd a hound permit. They killed TWO ADULT MALE cougar 200 yds behind the ladys house. If you listened to the WDFW male cougar will kill any other male in it's territory.  AND one week later there were 5 more dead sheep. Tried to run that cat but it was hot & dry so the dogs couldn't track it. To bad the WDFW leadership doesn't self-regulate!!  A few of my trail cam pics below
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Offline Humptulips

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2017, 05:03:53 PM »
When did WDFW come out against any additional harvest methods?  I think if HSUS and PAWS were supportive we could get some hound pursuit back, the state (WDFW) is not the problem in that regard.

I was told in a conference call 3rd week of December they could not support any type of a trapping season for cougar. They would support a pursuit season. Pursuit season is not additional means of harvest.
I am not aware of any other harvest methods the F&W Commission has the power to implement.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline idaho guy

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Re: cougar population
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2017, 05:27:51 PM »
Without adult male protection of females and their litters, infanticide becomes a problem, as the young toms kill kits to bring the mother into heat and improve their breeding chances



 :dunno: without adult male protection? I am pretty sure the big toms will kill plenty of kittens to bring mom into heat? The whole basis of his study seems wrong. I am confused but yea pretty hard to write a management plan on something this screwed up

 

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